The wounds are still raw in Sussex, just 72 hours after word came down the nearby PotashCorp Picadilly mine would be suspending operations, leaving more than 400 people out of work.
On Thursday, German mining company K+S Potash announced it would hold a job fair in Sussex as it looks to hire 100 employees for a new potash mine in Saskatchewan.
READ MORE: K+S Potash to hold job fair in Sussex, hiring 100 people for Saskatchewan mine
As the weekend job fair kicked off on Friday, there was a steady crowd of people, including April Glendenning, who lost her job in the PotashCorp mine lab after a decade.
“These men have been part of my life for 10 years”, she said. “You know they were all uncles to me, so it’s difficult.”
She said she will head west if that’s where work takes her.
“If need be, I’ll pack up and move, but know New Brunswick is home,” she said.
“You hear of so many people going out west, it would be nice for somebody to be able to stay in the province and make it work”.
K+S Potash is on the lookout for various skilled workers especially those with potash processing experience.
“We’ve heard great things about the people of New Brunswick in terms of being very hard-working and very team-oriented,” said Maryann Deutscher, senior manager of human resources with the company. “Our goal in terms of hiring is to have people hired by the end of March, beginning of April.”
READ MORE: PotashCorp mine closure has Sussex residents fearing worst about economy
A J.D. Irving job fair is also planned for next week, but town officials said it won’t soften the blow from Tuesday —; although it doesn’t hurt.
“Certainly to have large-scale employers come in and say that they have opportunities, I’m sure that really helps the situation”, said Scott Hatcher, the town’s chief administrative officer.
Vince Lyttle, who endured the shutdown of the Saint John Shipyard and is looking for work in the potash industry, said he can relate.
“I can only say that I experienced what a lot of people are experiencing here now, and I’m hoping that they’re going to take advantage of this situation and this community stays strong together,” he said.